Drone footage reveals seal’s attempts to evade pod of hungry killer whales | UK News & More Latest News

Footage reveals a harbour seal attempting to evade a pod of hungry killer whales by looking for refuge in a mussel farm off Shetland.

The seal was surrounded by eight orcas on the hunt for meals north of Lerwick on 6 March this 12 months.

Local drone pilot Nick McCaffrey captured 38 minutes of the dramatic chase, which noticed the seal cover between two traces of mussel ropes at Grunna Voe farm.

It will be seen gliding in between the ropes because the killer whales edge nearer, in what has been described as beforehand undocumented behaviour.

But the predators pounced when the seal ventured out of security, swiftly dispatching their prey.

The footage was analysed by Emily Hague, a PhD scholar at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, who’s researching the influence of human actions on marine animals – together with man-made buildings corresponding to fish farms and offshore vitality developments.

Ms Hague stated: “Interactions involving man-made buildings are hardly ever, if ever, caught on digital camera.

“This makes this footage extra special and very insightful from a scientific point of view.”

The movie supplies a “new perspective” on how marine life and man-made buildings can co-exist within the sea, Ms Hague added.

“It’s fascinating that these novel structures in the marine environment are potentially being used by prey to hide from predators.”

The dramatic chase was captured on drone
Image:
The dramatic chase was captured by a drone

The footage additionally sheds mild on the potential dangers marine animals face.

“Last year a juvenile member of this killer group died entangled in rope and was found on Orkney,” Ms Hague stated.

“If this group is spending a lot of time around marine structures, then this may have associated risks, like entanglement.”

The footage is a rare example of marine life interacting with manmade structures
Image:
The footage is a uncommon instance of marine life interacting with man-made buildings

Mr McCaffrey captured the footage after he and fellow wildlife fanatics had been alerted to the orcas’ arrival by the Shetland Orca Sightings Facebook web page, managed by wildlife photographer Hugh Harrop.

He traced the pod’s route because the orcas travelled from simply south of Lerwick to Grunna Voe.

Ms Hague’s full findings had been printed on Thursday within the scientific journal Aquatic Mammals.

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